by Diane Lombardi-Fleming
February 22nd will mark the release of Jon Dâ€™Amoreâ€™s sixth book, â€œMe & George.â€ The Hudson County native once again exhibits his unique and varied style with this new tome. Me & George is a funny, entertaining and informative story that, like his previous five books, does not follow a similar genre, proving the versatility of the author. In addition, and perhaps best of all, it unfolds in New Jersey along the Hudson River, captivating the reader with its familiarity.
Dâ€™Amore first had the idea for Me & George while attending Union Cityâ€™s Washington Elementary School. He recognized that the name of one of our Founding Fathers appeared over and over throughout the New York/New Jersey region. Memorials to George Washington abounded; The George Washington Bridge, Washington Square Park, Washington Heights, the three Washington Townships in New Jersey, numerous Washington Streets, Avenues and Boulevards, and signs detailing â€˜Washingtonâ€™s Retreat,â€™ to name a few. And, as Dâ€™Amore pointed out, â€œLetâ€™s not forget the quarter and the one-dollar bill.â€
The myriad of tributes to George Washington made Jon wonder, â€œWhat would the first president of America say if he were to see what became of the thirteen colonies and the government he helped create?â€
In an exclusive interview with the River View Observer, Dâ€™Amore said, â€œI kept the idea for this story locked inside my memory from elementary school, through high school and into college, where I used the library for some early research and to use their IBM Selectric typewriters to write the first few chapters. I had to return to life as a touring and session musician, so those pages went into the bottom of the proverbial drawer for several years. When I entered the corporate world in the late 1980s, I found writing the story to be a relaxing way to pass the time while flying about the country and living in hotels. But it remained unfinished and found its way back into the drawer.â€
Leaving New Jersey in 1999, Dâ€™Amore relocated to Hollywood, California to dedicate himself solely to writing. There, he penned the manuscript for what would become his first book, â€œThe Boss Always Sits In The Back â€“ A Memoir,â€ which, along with the early unfinished chapters of Me & George, had been saved for many years in a Word program. When the manuscript for The Boss was finally completed, the author turned it into a screenplay. His talents were recognized for his editing and formatting ability which landed him a job as a Script Doctor for the next decade, until 2012 when he self-published The Boss.
Dâ€™Amore went on to say, â€œWith the success of The Boss, especially in New Jersey and New York, I decided to continue doing what Iâ€™ve always enjoyed, which is writing books, live appearances and entertaining audiences. Being self-published is always a risk, but based on the success of my first five books, I made the right decision.â€
Between 2012 and 2020, Dâ€™Amore released The Boss, Deadfellas, The Delivery Man, As Long As I Have Lips and Rubdown, each story totally different and unrelated in genres. In early 2021, he decided to open the Me & George file and finish the story he had been pondering for four decades.
Dâ€™Amore laughed as he recounted, â€œEach revision of the manuscript needed to include the newest and latest technology. When I started writing Me & George, there were only land lines and payphones. Even answering machines were rare back then. Later, I added pagers and fax machines, and then early cell phones. Now, I brought in the latest technology, texting, video conferencing, Bluetooth technology that allows cellphones to be connected to our car, and household appliances that take commands and speak.â€
Early previews of Me & George predict it to be another bestseller. Since the pandemic is still not allowing for easy travel, book readings will be via Zoom. Book orders and Discounted Combo Packs are available at www.jondamore.com. The schedule for the Zoom readings will be announced on Jonâ€™s Facebook page, The Books of Jon Dâ€™Amore, where you can follow the author, and request to be added to his email list for special events.
The author ended the interview saying, â€œWriting Me & George was the most fun of any of my books to date, but typing â€˜The Endâ€™ at its completion brought me even more pleasure than expected. Forty years is a long time to hold a story inside and seeing it to fruition. Finally sharing it with the world was cause for celebration.â€